The Nerdist just published an interview with Simon Pegg they did from the set of Star Trek Beyond earlier this year. There are lots of encouraging details from the co-star/co-writer of the movie, as well as details on the intense writing process he and Doug Jung followed.
On the writing process:
We started out in a room at Bad Robot that’s just got white boards around the room, just blank white boards. Which is a terrifying thing to see. Then we just filled them and kind of went through so many iterations and so many story ideas. Eventually we began to hone in on what we have now, and it was a very accelerated, kind of intense process—and a difficult one.
On how to write Star Trek for modern audiences but keeping it true to its roots:
They want [things] to be a little more brash and a little more action-oriented. So we’ve had to dial that into the Star Trek brand. But at the same time that doesn’t mean that can’t be fundamentalized by all the tenants of what Star Trek is, and how those characters have evolved over the years, and to really give its DNA a kind of authenticity.
…we want it to be about them on that five-year mission. In fact, two years into that five-year mission, and how that impacted them personally and what it meant to be out in space that long. And we liked the idea of also, on the fiftieth anniversary, looking at Roddenberry’s original vision and questioning it. The whole notion of the Federation and whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing and how productive is inclusivity and what is the true cost of expansion.
Relationships between the characters and where we’ll find them as Beyond starts:
…I felt like the Kirk-Spock thing, we’d done that now. Arguably maybe too soon in a way. I think there’s still a lot of time for those guys to become super friends. Maybe we’ll do that further down the line if we do more. I felt like now it was time to move away from the bromance thing and concentrate on the idea of the crew as a family living in a small space together, and what it means to all of them. I really love the dynamic between Bones and Spock, so that’s something we’ve kind of concentrated on a little bit with this one. Kirk’s older than his dad was when he died. All that sort of psychological stuff is playing on him. Scotty’s just still Scotty.
WARNING: MINOR SPOILER ALERT!
We’ll finally get to see somewhere else in the Federation:
Part of the story at least begins with them docking up at a new Starbase which is at the very edge of space. It’s a new kind of diplomatic hub. It’s called Yorktown, and it’s right on the edge of Federation space. It’s where all the most recent Federation inductees can come and mingle with each other and sort of learn about each other.
…it’s basically a place where they can understand what being part of the Federation means, and it’s an important kind of tactical establishment for the Federation. They’re very, very far out, but it’s been built locally, so it’s very interesting to look at. It’s where the Enterprise docks up. For the first time in ten months it’s had proper contact with other people—that’s where the story begins.
There’s a lot more to read in the full interview.